Beck, Gilbert Off To Scorching Starts In Professional Careers

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Jordan Beck and Drew Gilbert can still hit.

The duo of outfielders combined for 72 doubles, 56 home runs and 274 RBIs in their three seasons playing beside each other in Tennessee’s outfield.

Both were first round selections in last month’s MLB Draft and both are continuing their collegiate success in their first taste of professional baseball.

Both are competing in the rookie league and have put together a fantastic first few games to begin their professional careers.

Gilbert five-of-11 at the plate with three walks, one home run and four RBI in four games. The Houston Astros first round selection has flashed his speed with three quick stolen bases while posting an unsustainable 1.418 OPS through four games.

The Stillwater, Minnesota native was as integral as any player in rebuilding Tennessee’s baseball program and Tony Vitello went to bat for him during the MLB Draft.

“Obviously, a loud personality on the field because he wants to win so bad, but I can’t describe to people how he changed my life when he got to our program,” Vitello said. “He does things in the locker room and the dugout that are tough to describe especially in a short period of time, but literally changed how the program operates, thinks, competes, works. I think he’s going to do that at the big league level too though he’s going to have to establish himself. Phenomenal kid. I’m so happy for him.”

Beck’s been just as good in his first three professional games. The Hazel Green, Alabama native is four-of-nine at the plate with four RBIs so far. The right fielder totaled his first professional home run on Saturday night and is posting an impressive 1.278 OPS.

While both are in the rookie league, we unfortunately won’t get to see the two square off as summer winds down. Beck and the Rockies are in the Arizona Complex League while Gilbert and the Astros are in the Florida Complex League.

Ryan Schumpert is a recent graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. Ryan spent three years with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program before joining RTI. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.